What is the best diet to increase muscles for men over 40?
The importance of these questions is immense. If you are working out regularly and following the tips and tricks we discuss here at GymTrends365, and you are still not gaining the muscles you want, then you probably have a problem with your eating plan.
In this article, I will discuss the five main diet principles you must follow to eat well, gain muscle and boost your energy levels.
As with weight loss, muscle gain relies heavily on eating right to get results. A healthy diet will be responsible for over 75% of your muscle gains or even fat loss.
I will show you the best plan to get the best out of your diet plan. You will learn the following:
1- The number of calories you must consume to grow muscles and stay lean simultaneously.
2- The best supplements for your health and gaining muscle.
3- What foods should you consider avoiding to avoid holding back your muscle growth?
4- How to stay consistent with the plan and your gains.
5- What is a healthy nutrition plan?
We discuss how we can properly plan our diet to get the maximum out of our workouts. Gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Isn’t that what we all strive for, my friends?
So let’s begin!
What is the best diet to increase muscles for men over 40? (The 5 Diet Principles)
Let’s build a sound foundation to build muscle mass and strength with the following five principles on which you should base your diet. Physical activity also plays a significant role, but today we will focus solely on diet.
– Diet principle # 1
We have to intake the correct number of calories.
We want to gain muscle. In this case, we want to consume more daily calories than we burn. Many personal trainers and even doctors complicate the matter so much that we get confused sometimes.
I want to explain it as straightforwardly as possible, and I repeat. We want to take in more calories than we burn to gain muscle. Don’t exaggerate it, though. Between 300-500 calories surplus per day is more than enough.
We create new muscle tissue when we work out. Therefore our body needs the extra amino acids, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to grow that muscle.
That’s why when we are on a fat-loss diet, we create a calorie deficit, so our body has to pull energy from fat stores.
With muscle building, it’s the exact opposite. We eat more calories than we burn. For us guys over 40, though, we must make sure to eat the right foods to create that calorie surplus.
Don’t just eat everything you get in site, because that will cause you to gain fat.
So based on your height, age, and activity level, you can figure out how many calories you should eat daily. Add 300-500 calories to that number, and here you go. You know precisely the amount of calories you should eat daily to gain muscle and stay lean at the same time.
The exact number of calories you have to eat daily differs per person. If you want to determine your calorie intake number, you can make an appointment with a local nutritionist.
I will use my data so you can compare and do the numbers yourself if you don’t feel like seeing a nutritionist.
Length: 1.87 m.
Weight: 85 Kg.
Activity: Medium / High.
I need roughly 2200 calories a day to maintain my weight.
If I’m in a muscle-building phase, I eat between 2500 and 2700 calories. If I am in a fat-losing phase (getting lean), that number dives a bit under 2000 calories.
Make sure you get these numbers about right. Especially for guys over 40. The room for error gets smaller as we age.
If we eat too many calories, we will put on fat, and if we don’t eat enough calories, we will not be able to put on muscle mass.
– Diet Principle # 2
We need a proper supplementation plan.
As we age, muscle building gets a bit more complicated. Our testosterone levels are decreasing, and our recovery capacity is decreasing. These factors are working against us guys over 40.
By taking the right supplements, we can improve those factors. We can increase testosterone levels and help our bodies recover faster after workouts.
We can divide our supplements for building muscle after 40 into three compounds.
1- The general health supplements.
These are our base supplements. Regardless if we want to lose fat or build muscle, we need to take these supplements for our general health.
Examples are, Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D-3, Probiotics, and Fish oil.
These supplements ensure we are healthy, so we can have a great base to push our bodies to the limit during our fitness workouts.
I call these the baseline supplements.
2- The muscle-building supplements.
We are ready to take the muscle-building supplements now that we use the baseline supplements. Remember that spending money on muscle-building supplements is useless without our base supplements.
I see so many guys doing this wrong. These building supplements will never have the same effect if you don’t take the baseline supplements. Foundation first. We want to build muscle while maintaining or even improving our health.
Examples are Protein Powder and Creatine.
Creatine Monohydrates is the most researched muscle-building supplement out there. It increases your muscle mass and performance in your workouts. My advice is to use your creatine after your workouts. You can mix it with your Protein Powder. Please don’t overdo it; 5 grams daily is the perfect dose.
Whey Protein intake will stimulate healthy muscle growth. After your workout, you will be okay with just a 30-40 grams dose.
3- Joint health supplements.
I want to add joint-protecting supplements as well. Especially as we age, we need to take extra care of our joints. As I mentioned before, the most significant setback I experienced in my fitness journey was my recurring shoulder injury.
If we take care of our joint health, we can keep hitting the gym without any problems. Therefore I advise you to take joint-protecting supplements like Curcumin and Turmeric. I ignored those 2 for years, but now I know better.
As we know by now, muscle building is a gradual process, and taking care of our joint health makes sure we can build muscle year after year.
– Diet Principle # 3
We need to avoid processed foods, refined carbs, and sugar.
These foods are not just bad because they contain a lot of o calories, but they also create inflammation which hurts the joints and increases the risk of heart disease.
That inflammation of the joints makes it more challenging to train and recover. Therefore it’s not just about the overdose of calories anymore. In our 40s, we have to address recovery and inflammation.
Injuries still cause the top killer of continuing your fitness routine. We are looking for ways to stay consistent in working out. We should avoid injuries, but we should have a long-term workout plan even more. Injuries still cause t
Please, let’s do our utmost best to avoid them.
I’m not saying you can not eat your burger or pizza once in a while. I even think it’s important to do that. After all, we are looking for a nutrition plan that we can do for the rest of our lives.
I need my burger once in a while, and let’s not even start with my love for fries with mayonnaise. And usually, that means that it can’t be too strict. At least for most of us. Me included.
Let’s not complicate things too much; I’d say that if over 90% of your meals are healthy, you’re on the right track. That means you can plan a cheat meal twice or three times a week.
– Diet Principle # 4
We need to have a consistent meal plan.
Okay, a lot has been written and said about this subject. I urge you to keep things as simple as possible.
Eat every 4 hours and make sure that every meal contains the right amount of healthy carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Carbs and protein are essential to building muscle. Also, keeping it simple helps us to maintain our diet long-term. I remember the days that the guys in the gym were talking about their healthy carb and protein diet, and I was ashamed to say that I didn’t understand which exact foods were carbs and protein.
So, for you guys who also don’t know what is what.
Here are some examples.
Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Oats, Corn, Berries, Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Apples, etc.
Chicken, Fish, Protein Powder, Egg (One of my favorite foods), Steak, Turkey, Peanut Butter, Pasta, Lentils, etc.
Avocados, Nuts, Cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fatty Fish, Whole Eggs, Dark Chocolate, etc.
So, now that’s clear, let’s continue.
We have to find a way to plan and prepare our meals despite our busy schedules. So let’s say you have breakfast at 8 am, lunch at noon, a snack at 3.30 pm, and dinner around 7.30 pm.
That would be well-balanced muscle-building spacing. I will also give you tips on what we can do before we go to bed, before our workout, and after we train to improve things even more in our muscle-building process.
The point is that we have to organize ourselves so that we know how to quickly prepare a muscle-building breakfast or even learn how to buy that muscle-building lunch if we’re on the go. It will not be easy at first, but practice always makes perfect.
– Diet Principle # 5
We need to dial in that pre & post-workout nutrition & pre-sleep nutrition.
I already said I would give you guys some extra tips on stimulating healthy muscle growth by doing the following things.
– Pre-Workout Nutrition:
A good pre-workout meal sets the stage for a fantastic workout. You want to have a meal that is high in protein, moderate in carbs, and low in fat before training.
WHY? Fat slows down the digestive process, so if you eat too many fats before your workout, it will not digest quickly enough to be an excellent beneficial pre-workout nutrient.
Simply said, you don’t want all that food sitting in your stomach while working out. You want to give the muscles time to absorb the food so you can have a good workout for optimal muscle growth.
Ideally, you want your pre-workout meal about 90 minutes before your workout. Then you have a great workout session and a post-workout meal later.
– Post-Workout Nutrition:
Post-workout, we want to be on 30-40 grams doses of whey protein mixed with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, and then you will have your big meal after that. This hefty meal should be 40-50% of calories consumed daily. That’s why I call it ‘the big meal.’
At his point, after your workout, your muscles act like sponges. They will soak up all that healthy nutrition. You want to take in the most calories after your workout. It would be best to have your protein shake and your ‘big meal’ within a 2-hour window after your workout.
That way, you ensure your body soaks up all the essential amino acids, which will help in muscle growth and recovery.
– Pre-Sleep Nutrition:
Before we go to bed, we want to take some slow-release proteins like yogurt or healthy fats. This way, we keep the ‘anabolic’ throughout the night.
I know, guys; it seems like a lot of information to soak in, but this is as good as it gets. Suppose you want to achieve maximum muscle growth and be in the best shape of your life. This is the way!
The whole regular diet principle can be overwhelming, but a nutritionist can help create your personalized diet plan.
With the information in this article, you are well prepared to create a nutrition plan by yourself as well.
Hey, it might even be fun!
Try it out, and let me know if it worked for you.
Finally, you must add resistance, strength, and weight training with heavier weights to create hypertrophy. (lean muscle mass growth)
And if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the section below, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.
Stay healthy and strong!